Why it is not too late to claim compensation for breathing problems if you were a coal miner working in a mine in Leeds or elsewhere in the UK
Coal miner lung disease victim question
I worked as a coal miner primarily at a colliery in Leeds 20 years ago working for British Coal and the NCB. I initially worked under ground at the coal seam face and was exposed to great amounts of coal dust and noise every day. No breathing protection of hearing protection was provided.
Later I worked as a surface worker and the exposure to coal dust continued as did the noise exposure from large machines.
I have noticed since I have stopped working in the mines that I am having breathing difficulties. I attended with my GP and was referred to a consultant in a hospital in Leeds. My lungs were scanned and tests made which indicate that I am suffering from emphysema and coals miner’s pneumoconiosis.
I have also noticed that I have a continuous ringing in my ears which is more pronounced at night – I am struggling to hear when my wife talks to me and the kids complain that the TV is turned up too loud.
Is it too late for me to claim compensation for my lung disease as I believe it was caused by the work conditions in the mines and how do I find out whether my hearing difficulties could be related to noise at work?
Industrial lung disease and noise induced hearing loss solicitor
From the description you have provided from the conditions in the mines at Leeds I believe you will have a compensation claim from your former employer for the breathing problems you are suffering from.
Coal miners are typically exposed not only to coal dust, but also dust from other minerals which have to be drilled to access the coal.
The breathing problems you have been diagnosed with seem consistent with dust exposure in the mines – both emphysema and coal miner’s pneumoconiosis or black lung.
So long as you have been diagnosed with these conditions in the last 3 years it is likely you are still in time to make a claim. It matters not that a previous employer, such as British Coal or the National Coal Board, is no longer in business as the insurer at the time of your employment will still have a liability.
In addition – it sounds likely that you could be suffering from noise induced hearing loss, which is also known as industrial deafness, and tinnitus. These conditions can come from continuous exposure to excessive noise at work. The machinery noise for pit and surface workers at coal mines are quite likely to be well in excess of the safe levels without ear protection and as it seems none was provided it is quite likely that this is the source of your hearing problems.
To establish the source of your hearing problems you should attend with your GP and have your hearing tested. Your GP will have an audiologist produce a hearing test known as an audiogram, which will have a distinctive shape if the hearing loss relates to exposure to noise.
With this audiogram a specialist industrial deafness solicitor will be able to claim compensation on your behalf from your former employer.
To see more pages I have written on the illness that can be developed by coal miners, in Leeds or other pits and collieries across the UK, for which compensation can be claimed click miners injury compensation